Today our countdown to the Examiner Community Awards turns the spotlight on the three nominees for Sports Personality.
The winner will be revealed at the glittering event at the John Smith’s Stadium two weeks today.
Up next: the shortlist for Sports Team of the Year.
Frank Beaumont’s dedication to football in Huddersfield has spanned the best part of 60 years ... and he’s still involved at the age of 84.
He’s remains a committee member with the Huddersfield and District Association Football League which organises matches and loves going to watch matches whenever he can.
He was inspired by former league secretary, the late Alf Richardson, who needed someone to help him in the role.
Frank obliged ... and then also married Alf’s daughter, Anne, too.
Although Frank’s first official role as assistant secretary began in 1960 he’d been helping Alf before then and had first joined the League committee in 1951 as a representative for Bradley Rangers, a team he played in for 13 years.
Frank became the League secretary in 1966 and also served as chairman and then president before retiring last year when he was made honorary president for all his years of selfless dedication.
He joined the Huddersfield and District FA Council which runs the game in 1961 and again rose to president in that organisation in 2000 before retiring a few years ago.
He said: “I used to go to watch a match every week but since the turn of the year my legs won’t take me now so I’ve only been to three or four. I was brought up into football and its administration side. I loved playing football and when Alf was the secretary I found it very interesting. I still love the game and I still want to be involved.
“The Huddersfield and District League is the biggest in the West Riding and it’s a good standard. Several teams have left us to go on and play in higher leagues with Emley FC being the most notable.”
Frank began his own football career at the age of 12, playing for Dalton St Pauls in the old Sunday Schools League.
He recalls playing at centre forward in the Heaton Shield final at Berry Brow in 1946.
In 1950 he was signed up by Hull City’s manager Raich Carter to play for their Intermediate side but that ended in 1951 when National Service saw him join the RAF.
He spent two years at RAF Hemswell in Lincolnshire as an engine mechanic working on Mosquito aircraft.
He managed to get leave, however, to play for his works team, L B Hollidays, in the Hoyle Cup final, only to lose to YMCA.
On demob, Frank joined Bradley Rangers where he ended his playing career.
Frank, of Wooldale, was a works manager at Yorkshire Chemicals in Leeds.
He is married to Anne and the couple have a son, Ian, daughter Jill and four grandchildren Carol, Alexander, Thomas and Nick.
When Marcus Ellis was seven he picked up a badminton racquet for the first time at Colne Valley Leisure Centre.
By the age of nine he was playing at county level against under 11s, he was in the England squad at the age of 12 and by the age of 26 shot to national stardom by winning a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics for Team GB.
He and doubles partner Chris Langridge beat world No3 Chinese pairing Hong Wei and Chai Biao 21-18 even though they were ranked at 22 in the world before the Olympics.
Marcus, now 27, has made badminton his whole life and his next aim is to take part in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia next April and then would love to compete in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Winning the bronze medal was stirring stuff for the Bolster Moor player who is a former student at Clough Head, Colne Valley High and Huddersfield New College.
He said: “I think it shows when you get to an Olympic tournament you can rip up the rankings because we knew, going out there, that we could compete with everybody.”
The last Britons to collect an Olympic badminton medal were Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms in the Athens Games mixed doubles in 2004 when they won silver.
The first time Marcus ever played was at a badminton club his dad John played with at Colne Valley Leisure Centre in Slaithwaite.
He loved the game from the start and says people who recall him at that age said they simply couldn’t get him off the court.
A tough decision came when he was midway through his A-Levels at Huddersfield New College.
He was given the chance to go and live in Milton Keynes and play with the top badminton players in the world.
After family discussions he decided to go and now lives in St Albans.
He makes a living from playing badminton via a mixture of grants, sponsorship and prize money but last year’s controversial decision by UK Sport to pull funding the badminton has hit him and the sport in general hard.
He said: “Sport is a cut-throat business but the decision was concerning and sad. There is no saying that badminton won’t get its funding back in the future but certainly not before the Tokyo Olympics.”
He now plays in tournaments all over the world and will be in Thailand on the night of the awards.
Marcus met his fiancé Nicki Chan-Lam, a badminton player from Sheffield, while both played for Yorkshire and they will marry in June.
His mum Sheila was in tears when he won the bronze medal and said at the time: “It’s fantastic for English badminton and it’s wonderful for all the people around here who have helped and supported Marcus over the years.
“He’ll now be ‘Marcus Ellis from Huddersfield, Olympic medalist’ for the rest of his life and that just sounds so, so good.”
Geoff Martin has given amazing service to crown green bowling – especially youth bowling – in Huddersfield for around a quarter of a century.
The 60-year-old founded the Huddersfield Junior Crown Green Bowling Association and Huddersfield Junior Bowling League in 1994 with the late Tommy Wilson and many of the youngsters have gone on to play with the Yorkshire team, winning the Drakes Pride BCGBA County team title 12 times in the last 16 years.
Geoff said: “There was no junior bowling for girls at that time and very little for young people.“
It began with seven teams and at its peak had 23 teams although numbers have declined again in recent years.
One of the outstanding successes was Michael Hick from Huddersfield who won the British Crown Green Championship. Many Huddersfield players have won the Yorkshire Junior Merit title and several have gone on to play at county level.
Geoff, now a gear inspector at David Brown’s, was first shown how to play bowls by his dad, Jack, in the around 1966/67 at Leeds Road Playing Fields when he was aged around 10.
He joined Hillhouse and Birkby Crown Green Bowling when he was 16 but didn’t play much as he was also into football and rugby.
When he went to work for Huddersfield company Reliance Gears a colleague, Andrew Gregory, reintroduced him back into bowls in 1986 and Geoff joined Almondbury Liberal Club who were short of bowlers at the time.
He has been at Almondbury ever since and a good friend called Bernard Jones who became president of Huddersfield and District Liberal League then introduced him to what Geoff describes as “the wonderful world of committees.”
Geoff became treasurer of Almondbury Village Bowling Committee in 1991 and secretary in 1994.
He is also secretary of Huddersfield Works League Crown Green Bowling Association and a member of Yorkshire Junior County Development Committee.
Geoff is married to Elizabeth who also bowls at Almondbury Liberal Club.
Their son Michael, 31, has bowled for the Yorkshire senior side and daughter Hannah, 29, won the Huddersfield Junior Merit title three times in a row.
Geoff said: “It’s been a great team effort. I couldn’t have done it all on my own and I’ve enjoyed every minute. I’d like to thank my family, all the committees, sponsors , players, supporters and especially the Examiner journalists over the years who have made my job so easy and so enjoyable.”
We are proud sponsors of the Perrys Huddersfield sports Award and are delighted to present this award to a talented and worthy winner.
This category fits in perfect with our continued relationship with Huddersfield Town football club as the main sponsor of the Perrys Fanzone down at Canalside. We also have relationships down at the grass roots with some local sponsorship of a Junior Rugby league team and a local cricket team, again showing the support to our local community.
Perrys Huddersfield is a local business which provides great quality service to local people.
With more than 100 years in the motor trade we know that with our experience, whether it is for a new or used vehicle, service or parts, we will provide the very best customer service in the area – you will always be in safe hands with Perrys.
After all, we’re local people serving the local community. However, don’t just take our word for it, listen to our customers and 94% would recommend us.
For our best deals visit www.perrys.co.uk/huddersfield , or call us on 01484 535341.